digitization examples

a periodically updated list of examples of digitizations of early printed books that I draw from in exploring what digital facsimiles do and do not offer their users (updated June 12, 2017)

6 different digitizations of 6 different copies of the Nuremberg Chronicle:

I like the Nuremberg examples because the books and interfaces range so widely. But you can also play this game with digitizations of Shakespeare’s First Folio (see my list of digitized First Folios) and of the Gutenberg Bible (most up-to-date list is Wikipedia’s).


Working with EEBO & ECCO is its own special thing. I prepared a worksheet to orient new users to searching and navigating (primarily focused on EEBO, however, since my access to ECCO is limited); it also addresses questions of how books are represented in those databases and what is included and excluded from them.

Folger books that have been digitized by the Library and that are in EEBO:

A devout prayer of S Ambrose:

Thomas Buckminster, A nevve almanacke and prognostication:

Thomas Garter, The commody of the moste vertuous and godlye Susanna:

Gray. 1591. An almanacke and prognostication made for the yeere of our Lorde God. 1591:

Other works to help us think about the challenges and opportunities of digitization:

Mary Wroth, Pamphilia to Amphilanthus (holograph manuscript)

Charles Kean’s scrapbook

Bible. Latin. Vulgate. 1527.

Josuah Sylvester, Lachrymae Lachrymarum:

New Year’s gift roll of Elizabeth I, Queen of England:

Abraham Ortelius, Theatrum orbis terrarum:

Lodovico Domenichi, Facetie, motti, et burle di diversi signori et persone private (annotated by Gabriel Harvey):

The Archimedes Palimpsest:

The Great Parchment Book:

Other reading:

Sarah Werner, “Where Material Book Culture Meets Digital Humanities” Journal of Digital Humanities, 1.3 (2010) http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-3/where-material-book-culture-meets-digital-humanities-by-sarah-werner/

—–, “Sizing books up” The Collation July 10, 2013 http://collation.folger.edu/2013/07/sizing-books-up/

—– and Matthew Kirschenbaum, “Digital Scholarship and Digital Studies: The State of the DisciplineBook History 17 (2014) pp 406-458; DOI: 10.1353/bh.2014.0005.

Finally, I keep a list of online book history resources that includes places to find collections of digitized early books.

1 thought on “digitization examples

  1. This is so interesting. It’s exciting to be able to access this level of knowledge on my smart phone. It’s a Portal for greater information that can be easily accessed by me, to enhance my understanding & give me another fascinating subject to enjoy learning about. As a 58yo woman who is currently struggling with a very limited life, controlled by long term chronic pain & illness, (6.5yrs now), being able to view these ancient texts & learn from Experts, keeps me learning & thinking and in touch with the world. Thank you so much.

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